Everything Has Its Place in the Kitchen and Bathroom Everything Has Its Place in the Kitchen and Bathroom

Storage in a kitchen or bathroom is truly a challenge, since organizing one's equipment and supplies is basic to an orderly life. That's why when you are considering remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, you must plan what suits your needs best: your goal is to improve the potential of every cabinet and every inch of space.

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), the choices you make in storage design should fit your lifestyle. For instance, families that bake and cook frequently need plenty of room for equipment such as food processors, mixers and blenders. Consider a countertop appliance garage, which could provide a spot to keep small appliances such as a toaster or coffee grinder within easy reach, but out of sight the remainder of the time.

Open shelves on an island or on corners of base cabinets are excellent places to keep and arrange your cookbooks.

Don't forget built-in cutting boards and removable chopping blocks that can be installed between the countertop and drawer for easy use. Base cabinets designed with built-in vertical dividers can provide organized storage and easy access to cookie sheets and serving trays. Pot lids can also be kept neatly arranged and handy.

Years ago, the walk-in pantry was essential for storing the bounty of summer's harvest from canned tomatoes to peaches and vegetables. Today's kitchens rarely boast enough space to accommodate such storage. However, for the shopping-conscious or for larger families, a pantry cabinet makes it possible to stock up on frequently used items, take advantage of sales or promotions, or simply cut down on the necessary trips to the supermarket.

Options include tall, columnar pullout units on either side of a refrigerator, and wire-coated baskets and bins that pull out on heavy-duty rollers.

Bulk quantities of spices can be accommodated in a storage system that will hold these items in large containers.

"Some people devote an entire wall cabinet to spice storage," according to Dan Lenner, CKD, CBD, of Morris Black and Sons, Inc., Allentown, Pa. "Some, though, prefer a wall cabinet or pantry cabinet with a canned goods rack on the door instead of a standard spice rack, which would prove to be much too narrow for the large containers they favor," Lenner says. "A canned goods pull-out rack in a base cabinet also serves well for spice storage."

Not to be overlooked in the kitchen is cold storage.

"In kitchens with more than one cook, or in large kitchens, it is sometimes a good idea to have more than one refrigerator," Lenner said. "There is an open range of possibilities, including having a tall refrigerator in one part of the kitchen, a base freezer in another, and a base refrigerator in an island work station," Lenner noted.

Another cold storage item great for entertaining is a wine cooler. Conveniently tucked away under a counter or in a walk-in pantry, the cooler may be glass faced to hold enough beverages to serve a crowd.

A common eyesore to the kitchen is the trash or recycling bin. Consider including a rollout trash receptacle under the sink, in a base cabinet adjacent to the dishwasher, or near a kitchen exit, such as the door to the garage. Recycling bins, which can include divided containers for glass, plastics and compostable items, may also roll out from under the sink or in the pantry.

Storage in your bathroom can be limited. But as in the kitchen, the possibilities of enhancing these spaces are endless!

According to Lenner, "Typically, a closet is less expensive than a linen cabinet, but it is not as efficient in terms of use of space."

He proposes a tall cabinet for maximum use, and suggests adding tip-out or slide-out hampers, as well as drawers, if space allows for it. Even a laundry chute which leads down to the washer-dryer area is ideal.

Another popular space that can be utilized is the wall above the toilet.

"Open shelving or an over-the-toilet cabinet can be installed there," Lenner said. Both of these items are available in stock or custom cabinetry in a variety of sizes and styles.

As for the vanity, mirrors featuring two end-hinged units that conceal two recessed medicine cabinets can add much-needed space to small places. Designers can even build cabinets above the mirror to maximize available wall space. Dividing and compartmentalizing drawers, as well as incorporating pull-out shelves, will ensure that all items are clearly visible and easily accessible.

In your tub or shower, install a recessed area in the wall for storing shampoos, soaps and other bathing accessories. Bars and rings near the tub or shower are easy places to hang towels and wash cloths.

Remember, remodeling your kitchen or bathroom to maximize space can be done with custom or semi-custom cabinetry, or by selecting storage accessories in stock cabinets. There are many styles and designs out there from which to choose to design the kitchen or bathroom that suits your style and boasts a place for everything.

Reprinted with permission by the National Kitchen and Bath Association

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